TRANSCRIPT: ABC News/Facebook/WMUR Republicans Debate

MCCAIN: I think that there's additional choice here: a choice of having outcome-based treatment.

MCCAIN: There are five major diseases that consume 75 percent of health care costs in America. If someone has diabetes, we should give the health care provider a certain amount of money and say, "Care for that patient. And if, at the end of that period of time, and that patient is well, we'll give you a reward." Rather than every test, every procedure, every MRI.

And we need walk-in clinics, and we need community health care, and we need incentives for home health care as opposed to long-term care.

In my state of Arizona, we adopted a proposal which incentivizes health care providers to keep people in home health care settings -- dramatically less expensive than long-term care.

In Arizona, we have one-half the number, per capita, of people in long-term care facilities as the state of Pennsylvania.

Incentives to keep costs down, Charlie. There are no incentives in the system today.

Could I just mention one other thing? Both the attorney general of South Carolina -- I don't know why I mention South Carolina...

GIBSON: Because there's a primary there.


MCCAIN: ... and the attorney general of Iowa -- and I don't -- well, anyway...

GIBSON: That's too late.

MCCAIN: ... have sued the pharmaceutical companies because of overcharging of millions of dollars of Medicaid costs to their patients.

MCCAIN: How could that happen? How could pharmaceutical companies be able to cover up the cost to the point where nobody knows? Why shouldn't we be able to reimport drugs from Canada?

It's because of the power of the pharmaceutical companies. We should have pharmaceutical companies competing to take care of our Medicare and Medicaid patients.

ROMNEY: OK, don't leave me. Don't send the pharmaceutical companies into the big bad guys.

MCCAIN: Well, they are.

ROMNEY: No, actually they're trying to create products to make us well and make us better, and they're doing the work of the free market.

And are there excesses? I'm sure there are, and we should go after excesses. But they're an important industry to this country.

But let me note something else, and that is the market will work. And the reason health care isn't working like a market right now is you have 47 million people that are saying, "I'm not going to play. I'm just going to get free care paid for by everybody else." That doesn't work.

Number two, the buyer doesn't have information about what the cost or quality is, or different choices they could have. If you take the government out of it to a much greater extent, you'd get it to work like a market and it will rein in cost.

GIBSON: I've got to call a halt. We're going to take a commercial break. We'll come back. I'm going to be joined by Scott Spradling from WMUR, and we're going to go to some more direct questions.

Stay with us: The Republican debate continues from Manchester.


GIBSON: For the second 45 minutes of this debate, I'm going to be joined by Scott Spradling, who is political director of our station, WMUR, here in Manchester, New Hampshire.

And I would say, during that three-minute break, that all of the candidates headed for the wings, and I thought it might just be the two of us here for the last 45 minutes.


And I'm so relieved...


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